Lawsuit Announced Today Names Bevilacqua and Rigali


If Church Leaders got it right at the first opportunity, the abuse would have been stopped cold and these cases wouldn’t exist. They STILL HAVEN’T GOTTEN IT RIGHT. Why hasn’t Cardinal Rigali fulfilled every recommendation of the 2011 Grand Jury Report? What are Church leaders waiting for – another Grand Jury Report?

“New Lawsuit Names Bevilacqua, Rigali and Others,” by Shannon McDonald for Newsworks/WHYY, May 9, 2011

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17 Responses to “Lawsuit Announced Today Names Bevilacqua and Rigali”

  1. The answer couldn’t be simpler to me.

    God is cleaning out His church, which has
    become overrun by leaders who ignore his basic rules about rape, lying, and ignoring the afflicted.

    Priests worldwide think child rape is no big deal. Its easy and convenient sex for them, and the children rarely speak up. They have no compassion whatsoever for the children.

    The rapists do it, and church leaders hide the truth and fight the victims because they think it is an annoyance instead of a crime against humanity.

    At any point, God could have given leaders worldwide the wisdom to do the obvious, but they have always chosen reputation, personal career ambition, and money over the safety of God’s children.

    Everyone else’s test is to do the right thing, or sit on the sidelines and answer to God for it later.

    This is going to get much worse for everyone who didn’t do anything to fight it, and for some reason, God’s current Catholic congregation is too weak and stupid to understand it.

    A reminder – we’re talking about raping children here, and there is no outrage, no urgency, no fight in the people that should oppose it with every fiber of their being.

    The church leader have dropped your standards so far that you will go watch “American Idol” rather than fight for the victims of church child rape, and any of you could have been one of them. “American Idol” and your bishops and cardinals are both false idols.

    In the future, people with clear heads will look back on the written history of the truth with astonishment, and the Catholic religion will be a casualty because of the leaders of the Catholic church. More truth will come out, and this will get much worse, and may never get better.

    God is testing you.

    Why is this only clear to me?

    • Patrick, you are right. It has been ingrained into our Catholic psyche, our souls and minds that “you do not openly challenge the church hierarchy”. God forbid. You might go to hell and, in the meantime, have to be humiliated by friends and fellow Catholics who judge that you are a rebellous and angry person. God save your soul.

      Unfortunately, the opposite is true. The Spirit is stiring within us an anger toward the mistreatment of the innocent and a determination to reshape the church for our own good and generations to follow..

  2. http://www.snapnetwork.org/snap_letters/2011_letters/021411_open_letter_to_concerned_pa_citizens_catholics.htm

    Remember the laws needed are state laws so all of PA needs to be involved.Look at Bishopaccountability.org and see the priests in the other dioceses that were hidden outside Philly. If you have contacts/relatives in those areas they should be notified so they can contact their representatives. Crimmal cases, as stated before, are the only way to enforce Megan’s law. Even Megan’s law has limits, was told to stop with a possible Megan’s law cases last year – though not a Catholic Church issue.

    Also, priests do have a difficulty in being both a minister and an advocate. Had to sign a non-disclosure agreement to return to ministry at one point – no it wasn’t a Catholic Church issue. No important decision in life is all black and white, but mostly made in the grey. Found Process Theology interesting compared to the clear boundaries my Catholic Religion seem to dictate. The only clear issue is people should not be abused and definity not abused by church and civil leaders, especially sexual, violates both God’s law and civil law. How we prevent that is being debated.

    There are so many connections between St Jerry’s, resso and a few more churches in that area. Too many members of the parishes have kept a blind eye in the northeast. Wonder if the Bathtile church up the street from Resso will be next. Poor teacher from there tried in the early 80’s to get peoples’ attention after observing sexual abuse, probably lost his job doing it. Yes, there were many brave souls that confronted the church and lost their jobs because of it.

  3. I’m not being confrontational (for a change), but this is pretty black and white to me.

    The church hides behind the law whenever it benefits them or prevents the truth from coming out. When I was young and stupid, I thought that the most honest thing in the world was a Catholic priest. What a horrible, horrible disaster this church has turned into.

    Here’s a solution: take very new victim, and the accused priest, and have them both take a lie detector test. I know the lawyers will step up and say they aren’t admissible in court, but my point is that this should be able to be done without court proceedings, and we’d get more of the truth without having some of the best lawyers in the country verbally badgering people that were already raped by priests.

    The fact is that the weasels in the church are very, very good at understanding how to get away with things in courtrooms. They know that these children have been emotionally beaten and will often break down in a courtroom setting. They know how to protect their money.

    Catholic church leaders are despicable. Good luck to them finding a lawyer to get them into heaven. There aren’t many lawyers up there.

    • I agree pressing charges is hard enough and court can be extremely draining. I pray for these brave survivors it is not easy. Is is ashame they have to go at all. I think alot of them are doing it to protect others which is very compassionate and because the catholic leadership have failed to do so. I have been to court with my husband……..although is was a different case………know you are not alone. They will make you feel crazy because of their lies, coveringup, denial and lack of compassion…….that which should be good is evil and it is hard to comprehend…….don’t forget you are good and doing the right thing don’t let them play head games with you. You can forgive them but there are conseqences for their actions. Even the tax collector had to pay more than double in the Bible when he repented and Jesus did not take the “good thief” off the cross but let him carry out his sentence. Jesus loves you more than you can imagine and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You went thru the trauma alone and unsupported know there are many who are praying for you, support you and love you. Know the court systems are not always fair and sentence like we thought they would but what you do sheds like on a crime that thrives in the dark and in silence and you give courage to others no matter the outcome and we are working to one day have laws that reflect the magnitude of the violation of body, soul and mind you have experienced.

    • Agree with the black & white for abuse. So I am not arguing, just giving an opinion.

      “The archdiocese declined to comment on the lawsuit. The 77-year-old Brennan was removed from ministry in 2005, according to Anderson. He does not have a listed phone number at his Perryville, Md., address.”

      http://www.delcotimes.com/articles/2011/05/09/news/doc4dc7e49096c39082381176.txt

      This and another “retirement community” are near a few camps and recreation areas where children maybe staying.

      The grey area would be in my case keeping a kid in class who done his time but if he didn’t attend school would be walking around molesting other kids. Hated him being there, but he needed supervision.

      The other grey area is whether to go criminal, civil or return to the lay state. Only the criminal conviction will requirement reporting. Lay state would mean no punishment and no tracking. Civil has financial punishment.

      The other grey area is how to respond. Statewide response would be needed to change SOL and all victims of sexual abuse would have to be included. Taking money away would only work if we could get a large effort. And picketing draws attention and gives support to the victims, but probably not a change of heart.

      also:

      http://www.cdow.org/cgi-bin/news/news.cgi?p_id=0355&ppinc=detail

      I am not that smart, so hopefully we can use our talents, I’ll try not to bury my one,the rest of you can use your hundred talents and work together to restore our faith in our church.

      Sorry for any errors, well above my limit – stroke victim – so typing isn’t easy.

  4. This is the priest that abused me at St. Eleanors in Collegeville. It is really hard to read about this.

    • Dave, I’m sorry for all that you go through. I hope this site saves someone from suffering the same way.

    • Dave you are a strong man to be able to post that. Did something I posted upset you or is it just remembering……. I am so sorry for your pain etc. My heart is truly broken because I have seen first hand the pain that abuse causes…the destruction it causes…..

    • Your are in my prayers. Just emailed a few people from that parish, hopefully, if there are more victims they get the support they need.Make sure you get the support you need.

    • I’m so, so sorry to hear that, Dave. Trust me, if I were down there, I’d stand shoulder to shoulder with you to fight for justice.

      I’m so sorry your church and your congregation have behaved so reprehensibly. You have great strength just to have survived.

  5. Do you have supportive people around you right now? That is important. What you and other survivors have to go thru would be difficult for anyone to go thru. I really admire you. I agree with Susan we don’t want this to happen in our church anymore to anyone.

  6. Thank you all for the support. I reported the incident several years ago to the DA but due to the statute of limitations there was nothing they could do on any of the reports they had on him. It was very obvious that they were really frustrated they could not prosecute him.
    My experiences with him were when he was actually stationed at St. Marys in Schwenksville but was best friends with the head pastor at St. Eleanors and spent lots of time there and at St Pius X. I believe he had a condo that he shared with the St. Eleanors pastor in Myrtle Beach or something, although not sure on the specific place. I have my good days and bad days and it has been painful having to hear about James Brennan due to the last name but this makes me feel particularly powerless. At some point I will share what the church’s immediate and on going response to me and my family was once the DA informed them of another report on Brennan. It has been a long road and for all the hope and promise that I have in finally getting some answers. I am very afraid of the feelings that will accompany the church doing nothing, getting of scot free and thumbing there nose at me for a 3rd time.

    • Dave I know it is hard don’t despair then evil wins……. keep speaking up…..it will help change things……my husband could not press charges before but with the change in limitations a few years ago he was able to I thanked Barbara Blaine from SNAP recently and others for all their hard work making this happen(even though he was from another denomination what they do affects all abused children).One of the worse things about abuse is a sense of powerlessness and loss of control. I have to admit my husband seeing his offender face us and apologize while they were putting cuffs on him to take him to jail helped my husband get rid of some of the powerlessness he felt but it did not cure everything and yes it is a very long road… we are still on it….let me know if I can do anything for you……C4C is making alot of connections with groups to try to make progress as soon as possible in law changes….you and your family are in my prayers……

  7. Dave, please know how sorry I am. There are many people who are trying their best for the survivors and the protection of children and refusing to turn a blind eye any longer.I cannot imagine the pain you have gone through and continue to experience with all of the recent events in the media. Please know we will do anything possible to help you. Kathy

  8. # Gov. Corbett – “MORAL RESPONSIBILITY” — SKIADVOCAT 2011-05-10 13:26

    In Washington, D.C., Gov. Thomas Corbett, making his first appearance on a national stage since taking office in January, told an audience at an education conference Monday that providing families with an alternative to failing public schools was a “moral obligation.”

    Let all Commonwealth citizens remind Gov. Corbett that he has another mandate that is a “moral responsibility” and that is to protect the children of PA from sexual abuse and predation. That is why Gov. Corbett will step up to the “moral responsibility” of publicly supporting Bills 832 and 878 pending in the House Judiciary Committee that would eliminate the civil and criminal statutes of limitation from child sexual abuse as well as establish a “window” during which civil action may be intiated regardless of the date of the alleged sexual offense.

    Gov. Corbett, isn’t the protection of the mind, body, spirit, soul and person of Commonwealth children from sexual torment and destruction just as important as their public education? Accept “moral responsibility” for the protection of the state’s children from sexual abuse and hold a news conference wherein you state publicly your support for Bills 832 and 878 submitted by the courageous and compassionate Philadelphia representatives , Rep. Louise Williams Bishop and Rep. Michael McGeehan.

    • Charter schools – parents hoped to get their kids out of the Catholic schools – check out the stories about them and the northeast. There was a scholarship program in the 90’s for students that paid some of the tuition – the archdiocese made sure they got a piece of that action. Special needs programs are always getting cut – after too many of them I got out. My kids didn’t need to have their dad work anymore jobs to balance the state budget. Remember that autistic girl that was raped, never get that face out of my mind. But the state wanted emotionally challenged kids(almost criminal) with autistic kids. These kids went through too much pain before and then their safety was compromised for a few pennies.

      If the kids benefitted I would be happy, but look at who benefits. Votes make the difference and do we have enough support. I remember rape victims arguing whether a stranger rape victim was different than a date rape victim. It is important to acknowledge each person’s pain, but need to be united and realize that is the only way to win this is to work together.

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